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   Witherspoon Lodge #178, IBPOE of W (Elks Lodge)

PROPERTY INFORMATION

Historic Name

Witherspoon Lodge #178, IBPOE of W (Elks Lodge)

Current Name

Address

124-26 Birch Avenue

Tax Parcel

1114_6904_7

Historic District

Witherspoon Jackson HD

Classification

Contributing

Number of Resources

1

Style

Vernacular

Number of Stories

2

Material

Brick

Historic Function

Social

Current Function

Social

Last Entry Update

11/18/2015


DESCRIPTION

Setting

This property is located on the south side of Birch Avenue near the center of the block between the intersections with Race and John Streets. Birch Avenue has a tree-lined sidewalk on both sides. Properties on the south side of the street have a small front lawn between the sidewalk and the houses. The property's drive runs along its east edge.

Description

The building on the property is a 2-story, 3-bay vernacular building facing north onto the street. Among its key features are its stepped parapet roof and its brick medallion. The building has a parapet roof with a center step on the north (main) elevation. A brick chimney is located on the west elevation near the southwest corner. The north elevation has a brick veneer with a diamond-shaped brick medallion located below the step of the parapet. Windows are replacement 1x1 double hung sash units, arranged mostly symmetrically. Most windows feature soldiered lintels and rowlock sills. On the main elevation, the second floor features a centered window/door unit that opens onto a shallow balcony with an iron railing; this door is flanked by windows. An awning shades the first floor, which has replacement doors in the outer bays and a horizontal window in the center. Brick steps lead from the doors down to the front sidewalk. Between the doors is the building's bulkhead.

The end walls are stuccoed, although the brick veneer of the north elevation wraps around the corners in a quoin-like pattern. Windows on the end walls are often paired; they all feature soldiered lintels and rowlock sills. A former door on the east elevation has been sealed, leaving the brick lintels. The building has a concrete foundation.


HISTORY

Built

1937

Architect

 

Builder

 

History

The lodge building was constructed in 1937 by the Witherspoon Lodge #178, Rising Sun Temple of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World, according to a history supplied by the Lodge. Historic maps and atlases show a vacant lot in this location as late as the Sanborn atlas of 1918. The Franklin Survey atlas of 1930 does not document properties north of Leigh Avenue. The house first appears on the historic aerial of 1940 and appears on all subsequent aerials.

The Lodge was founded on 6/10/1913 by William Higgins and is one of the oldest lodges of its type in New Jersey. The Lodge met in Douglas Hall for several years. The Lodge purchased the building located at 30 Maclean Street in 1924, but the earlier building burned that same year. The Elks Lodge constructed the existing building on the location that is now the Masonic Temple. During construction, the New Jersey chapter of this Elks organization was founded at Mt. Pisgah AME Church (as the regular Elks Lodge was not yet complete). The Lodge constructed the building documented here in 1937 and moved here from Maclean Street.

Sources

Manuscript "History of Witherspoon Lodge #178 IBPOE of W," dated 1988.


LINKS AND ATTACHMENTS

UPDATE

If you have additional information or corrections to the existing information, send an email to ekim@princetonnj.gov.
Submitted information is reviewed by the Princeton HPC prior to updating the database.


PHOTO FROM 2015 SURVEY


2015 Photo
North and west elevations


2015 Photo
North (main) elevation


2015 Photo
North and east elevations


HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS

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